Wednesday, April 17, 2019
4:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Joukowsky Forum, Watson Institute
111 Thayer St.
Reception to follow lecture
Part of a year-long series entitled “Iran Today” aimed at sophisticated discussion of contemporary Iranian society and culture as a countermeasure to the general lack of knowledge and sensational coverage circulated in US media.
This presentation is based on several years of fieldwork among a group of Shi’a women in Tehran. Niloofar Haeri examines du’a (spontaneous prayer)—the discourses and debates surrounding it and the ways it is practiced. The story of Moses and the Shepherd offered an occasion a few years ago to clerics with ties to the state to debate the ideal relationship between worshippers, God and Moses (representing all prophets). And the ideal way in which God must be addressed.
Du’a is an exalted form of worship among Muslims and there is a vast literature concerning its virtues and necessity, and yet, within the social sciences it has received far less attention relative to the obligatory ritual prayer (salat/namaz) in the role it plays in Muslim subjectivity. Professor Haeri will offer examples of how God is addressed and show the importance of studying acts of du’a ethnographically.